Paris packing list

I’m Going to Paris and These are the 10 Essentials on My Paris Packing List

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With blooming flowers, ideal weather, and outdoor cafes finally opening, there’s nothing quite like experiencing Paris in the springtime. Are you planning a trip to the fashion capital of the world too? Let’s prepare together for our stylish adventure! As I curate the perfect Paris packing list to ensure an effortlessly chic time, I’ll provide you with a list of essentials so you can pack for your trip too.

After all, Paris is always a good idea (according to Audrey Hepburn and everyone else). With another opportunity to put into practice all my Parisian fashion research, I’ll be well on my way to traveling to Paris looking like a true Parisian. And if you find yourself going to Paris as well, follow this Paris packing list, and you will too.

Paris Packing List

paris packing list

Credit cards? Check. Good camera? Check. Sure, we know that travel accessories and travel insurance are important, but I know what Paris packing list you really want to see! Here you’ll find the 10 clothing essentials that I’m bringing.

Of course, I’m packing more than 10 items, but I’ll dive into the ones that I would consider the most essential for a week-long trip to Paris around the springtime, based on what French people are actually wearing.

And keep in mind that I’m bringing more than what the average traveler needs to bring. I have some work-related posts I want to do, plus I want to stock up on classic outfit pictures, but not everyone needs to bring 4 purses (in fact, I’d probably recommend you don’t!). You certainly do not need to bring as much as I do to still have chic outfits.

Now, onto the Paris packing list!

Paris Packing List Essentials

1. Chic Outerwear – Trench Coat & Blazers

Space is a bit limited (What? Airlines won’t allow me to bring my whole wardrobe? Rude), so I have to narrow down what jackets and coats I’m bringing.

A trench coat is one of the best things to bring because not only does it act as a light jacket without looking like an American windbreaker, but it’s timeless and very French!

A blazer is perfect to have as an extra layer without the bulk of a coat. The spring months (fall is a close second) are some of the best times to travel to Paris because you can have stylish layers without drowning in heavy outerwear. Paris weather in the spring is mild and enjoyable and even more enjoyable in a chic blazer!

Not only is a blazer semi-practical, but it will instantly make all your outfits look better. I plan to wear my blazers with my jeans, skirt, and dresses.

Going to Paris yourself? Consider bringing a timeless black blazer to dress up your looks as well as a camel blazer, because the best neutrals for spring are beige, cream, and white.

2. Cardigan

Part outerwear part top – that’s the beauty of this versatile clothing piece. A white, beige, or cream cardigan is not just a spring must-have, it’s a French girl must-have too!

The key is to have a cardigan that is slightly oversized but could also be buttoned up and worn as a shirt. Leave the type of open cardigans that you wear with leggings at home.

I’ll be wearing my cardigan tucked into jeans, over a basic tee, with my floral wrap dress, slip dress, skirt, and well, everything!

3. Comfortable Walking Shoes

Everyone needs a pair of shoes (or two) that won’t make them want to cut their feet off by the end of the week. A lot of walking is a given (and encouraged) so comfortable walking shoes are a must and it’d just be a fashion tragedy to have a super chic outfit only to throw on a pair of running sneakers as an afterthought.

Thankfully, cute yet comfortable shoes exist! For stylish walking shoes, these high-quality loafers, cushiony ballet flats, and stylish white sneakers will be my go-to shoes, switching out to a block heel for pictures or a nice dinner.

High heels are a little overkill and aren’t what French women wear all day walking through the cobblestone streets. When the weather gets warm, I’d avoid flip flops as well, and instead, opt for a leather slide or strappy sandal instead.

Whatever shoes you decide on, try to make room for the classic ballet flats. A pair of classic ballet flats will carry you from morning croissants by the Seine to late-night strolls under the city lights. Their timeless elegance and understated design embody the Parisian spirit of effortless style.

Related: My Favorite Finds Check All the Boxes: Fashionable yet Comfortable Shoes for Europe

4. Basic Tees

A few different color options in a short sleeve shirt are great for a Paris trip. They’re easy to pack, simple to wear, and allow you to create a lot of different outfits. One of the best things is that you can wear them under a blazer or tucked into a floral skirt – the options abound!

As you know by now, neutral colors are the bread and butter of a classic and/or Parisian wardrobe. But for spring, I’m packing a lot less black and dark navy and instead, more beiges, grays, and whites, with a few pops of red.

5. Chic Dresses – Slip Dress & Floral Wrap Dress

Thinking through my itinerary, I won’t actually have a place to wear the infamous little black dress. Instead, I’m going for the little white dress instead. Well, ivory that is.

Black or ivory, whatever color you choose, Parisian women are big fans of the slip dress. It’s perfect for the warmer weather, can easily be worn with an outer layer, and can be dressed up or down. The perfect clothing item for this French capital!

For warm spring days, a floral and wrap dress is also a must. I’ll be wearing mine with my cardigan, basket bag, gold coin necklace, and slides!

6. Stylish Bag

Though most people may opt for a travel backpack because it’s easier and more practical, you don’t want to overlook your purse! It can be the finishing touch to your outfit.

It’s helpful to have at least one crossbody bag to keep your hands free, so I will be bringing my one and only Chanel bag (because it’s Paris after all!). It’s too hard for me to narrow down the rest of my bags, so well, I’m not. 😉

I’m also bringing a structured bag for classy outfits, a straw bag to offset the seriousness of my black clothes, and a basket bag because it will look Parisian chic with my floral wrap dress and ballet flats.

Options are great, but for the springtime, a raffia or straw bag will be the perfect companion for your Paris trip.

7. Straight Leg Jeans

Skinny jeans aren’t truly “out” if you love them, but they’re not the preferred pair of jeans as of late. Vintage, slim, wide-leg, or straight-leg jeans are what don the streets of Paris, and you’ll see me following suit. One white and one blue pair of jeans is all you need!

If you’re putting together your own Paris packing list, leave the yoga pants at home. Leggings could potentially work for your trip, just make sure they’re not the athletic spandex-type leggings. Something interesting and stylish like ribbed, stirrup leggings, or even plain basic is the way to do comfy chic!

Related: How to Wear Jeans Like a French Girl

8. Striped Shirt and/or Sweater

You don’t have to be all cliche and wear your striped tee with a trench coat, beret, and baguette at the same time, but still, a marinière is an actual wardrobe must-have for French women. It’s not just a myth! I’ll be wearing mine with my classic jeans for a no-fail combo.

Related: 11 Impossibly Chic French Spring Outfits Worn in Paris

9. Scarf

Accessories are not merely additions; they are integral elements that breathe life into every ensemble! As you select pieces to accompany your foundational wardrobe, begin with a silk scarf, an emblem of French fashion.

Silk, satin, or cotton, I love how a scarf is so chic and really ties an outfit together. Want to maximize your wardrobe? Look for a slightly larger scarf that can also double as a chic headscarf too! You can wear this accessory with your jeans and basic tees to dress down the outfit and still make it look casual chic.

The versatility of a scarf is unparalleled; wear it knotted around your neck, tied elegantly onto your handbag, or even as a headband. Each fold and knot carries the potential to transform an outfit from simple to stylish!

1o. Gold Jewelry

Rest assured, you don’t need to pack a giant jewelry pile to look chic. I’m only bringing two things: gold hoops and a gold coin necklace. I know I’ll be set! These classic items match everything and anything and add just the right amount of class to an outfit.

However, you can also switch to silver if that suits your skin tone better.

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Understanding Parisian Style: Your Foundation

Now that you’ve got the French wardrobe essentials, it’s also handy to know more about the French philosophy behind it all.

As you can see from these wardrobe essentials, diving into the world of Parisian fashion is like entering a realm where elegance meets simplicity. The essence of Parisian style lies in its understated yet undeniably chic approach to dressing. It’s all about embracing minimalism with an air of sophistication.

The magic of Parisian style begins with its foundation pieces. Picture yourself in these clothing pieces that boast simple silhouettes, steering clear of anything overly embellished or loud. The color palette tends to lean towards neutrals – blacks, whites, beiges, and navy blues – colors that evoke a sense of effortless coordination and class. Fabrics play a crucial role too; prioritize quality and feel, opting for materials that drape beautifully and last beyond a season and trend cycle.

Incorporating these foundational elements into your wardrobe doesn’t just simplify dressing up every day, it elevates your style. This approach to fashion doesn’t just create an aesthetic; it fosters a mindset where you find beauty in simplicity, valuing how pieces feel and fit over fleeting trends.

By aligning your packing list with these principles, you’re not just preparing for a trip to Paris; you’re embracing a lifestyle change. One where every outfit is a testament to refined elegance, and every piece in your suitcase is a building block to countless, chic ensembles.

Seasonal Considerations: Adapting Your Packing List

Though this guide is mainly targeted towards the spring season, there’s no reason why you can’t adapt this for whatever weather you find yourself traveling in!

Navigating Paris’s ever-changing weather requires a thoughtful approach to your wardrobe, ensuring you’re prepared for the city’s whimsical seasons. As spring breathes new life into the city, incorporating lightweight sweaters and versatile scarves allows for easy layering during those unpredictable days. Imagine strolling through Montmartre, a soft scarf elegantly draped around your shoulders as the weather decides its mood.

When summer arrives, Paris transforms under the golden sun. This is the time to embrace light, airy fabrics such as linen, which not only offer relief from the warmth but also uphold that chic Parisian vibe. Picture yourself enjoying a leisurely picnic in the Luxembourg Gardens, dressed in a breezy linen dress that catches the light summer breeze perfectly.

As autumn comes, layering becomes your best friend once again. The city’s crisp air invites you to blend style with comfort, adding stylish boots and a statement coat to your ensemble, ready for a day of exploring cozy cafes and vibrant street markets.

Winter in Paris is a beautiful sight of lights and a festive spirit. It’s essential to pack warm, without compromising on style. Thick, woven coats, stylish boots, and accessories like gloves and hats not only keep you cozy but also add an element of Parisian sophistication to your look. Envision the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop, wrapped in elegance and warmth.

In Paris, every season offers its own charm and challenges. Adapting your packing list with these considerations in mind ensures that, regardless of the weather, your style remains as timeless and captivating as the city itself.

The Art of Packing Light and Right for Paris

Mastering the art of packing for Paris is akin to curating a capsule wardrobe that is as functional as it is stylish. Begin by choosing a cohesive color scheme—think classic neutrals or a palette that allows for easy mixing and matching. This strategic approach not only simplifies your packing process but also ensures that each piece you bring can be part of multiple outfits, maximizing your style options while minimizing luggage.

Embrace fabrics that resist wrinkles and maintain their elegance, so you can step out looking polished without the need for constant ironing. Instead of folding, roll your garments tightly to create more space in your suitcase, a trick that also helps to prevent creases.

Organize your clothing and accessories using packing cubes; not only do they keep your suitcase tidy, but they also allow you to segment your wardrobe by outfit or occasion, making it easier to get dressed each day.

By packing light and right, you’re setting yourself up for a Parisian adventure that’s as carefree as it is chic, allowing you to focus more on the beauty of the city and less on managing your luggage.

Where to Shop in Paris for Last-Minute Essentials

Afraid you might forget something? Don’t stress! Should you find yourself in Paris missing a few chic essentials, the city is brimming with fashionable boutiques and grand department stores ready to fulfill every stylish need.

Wander into the elegance of Galeries Lafayette or explore the curated aisles of Le Bon Marché for a quintessential Parisian shopping spree. The Marais district, with its eclectic mix of shops, offers unique finds that promise to add that extra flair to your wardrobe. These destinations not only cater to your last-minute shopping needs but also immerse you in the luxury and charm of Parisian retail. Dive into these shopping havens, and you might just discover that perfect piece to complete your Paris look.

Wrapping Up Your Paris Packing List

If this is your first time going to the City of Love, then you’ll want to learn the basics of French fashion first. Keep reading to learn how to dress Parisian chic; this will help you plan your Parisian travel capsule wardrobe for the perfect Paris outfits: Fashion Tips for the Ultimate French Girl Parisian Style

paris packing list spring
Paris packing list

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Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making mychicobsession.com a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.